The phrase “non-believer” is derogatory
The definitions of the word "belief" on more than one online dictionary include “Mental reliance on or acceptance of a particular concept, which is arrived at by weighing external evidence, facts, and personal observation and experience."
For a while I was feeling a stigma attaching to the word "belief." So many posts on other boards are mingling the word "belief" with the word "faith" which is "Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing." [ http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com ]
Therefore, "belief” in reference to religion is an inappropriate use of the word.
To call someone a non-believer is to claim that they are mentally at a level of development equivalent to an infant who does not search for hidden objects [ http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Applied_History_of_Psychology/Cognitive_Development ]
The word “belief” in reference to anything intangible is inappropriate
Technically, belief occurs at around eight months old, and is the capacity to search for hidden objects because, you saw it there, so you must believe it is there. You walk out of your kitchen, and you can hold the belief that the refrigerator or oven will be there when you return moments later.
The word “belief” can therefore only apply to everything that qualifies within the definition as prescribed in legally accepted dictionaries.
One cannot hold a belief about anything that was never proven to exist, therefore the word “belief” can never be used in the context of any religion because it is completely grounded in the rules of the scientific process.
Faith means to trust even the unsubstantiated opinion.
Faith is defined as “Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.” [ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith ]
Faith is primarily a communicative expression of loyalty in the process of affinity-seeking and affiliation behaviors. If it serves a purpose beyond that, I would like to know about it.
Using the word "belief" in the definition of the word "faith" is in error.